The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has exposed the fatal weaknesses in our democratic, economic, and social institutions. It was quickly followed by another moment of reckoning as our nation grappled with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the movement for Black Lives swept the nation. We are living in a historic moment, where the People are uprising against government incompetence, white supremacy and systemic racism. If we want to fight for a liveable future, we need to reimagine what our democracy--and more broadly, world-- will look like for future generations.

The big question:

When we emerge from this crisis, what do you want our democracy, our justice system, and more broadly, our world to look? To participate in this contest, answer this question in your medium of choice and follow our contest guidelines below.


1st place in each category (Poetry/Prose, Multimedia/Music,Visual Art): min. $200

2nd place in each category: min. $100

3rd place in each category: min. $50

*We are actively raising money to increase the prize money and support young artists impacted by covid-19 in with our Fund for Black Artists.

Why are we doing this?

Art has always had a special role in resistance movements with its unique ability to shift perspective and add new points of view. We want to support the next generation of Black artists during this time of economic crisis and provide a platform to showcase your vision for our democracy and world.

Who is eligible to participate?

Black artists, 16-25 year old residing in the United States.

When are submissions due?

Submissions are due on August 15, 2020.



  • Poetry: 4-20 lines
  • Short story or essay: 500 words +/- 50


  • Video: 30 seconds to 2 minutes
  • Song: 30-60 second

Visual Art:

  • This can be a painting, poster, comic, graphic art or drawing. To submit a virtual piece, please upload a clear picture or digital file.

Group submissions are allowed but they must be under one name for ease of contact. It is up to the group to split the prize should they win.


click here

Our Judges:

Our judges include artists across a variety of mediums who’ve made contributions in their community and foster civic engagement through their art. We are thrilled to work with the following talented artists for our first virtual art competition…

Regie Gibson

Regie Gibson

Literary Performer, actor & educator, Regie Gibson, has lectured & performed in the U.S., Cuba & Europe. Representing the U.S. in Italy, Regie competed for & received both the Absolute Poetry Award in Monfalcone & The Europa in Versi Award in LaGuardia di Como. He’s received a Mass Cultural Council Poetry Award, is a Brother Thomas Fellow & has received two Live Arts Boston Grants to develop his first play, The Juke: A Blues Bacchae. He has composed texts for The Boston City Singers, The Mystic Chorale and Boston’s Handel+Haydn Society. He performs regularly with Atlas Soul: a world music ensemble & Shakespeare to Hip-Hop: an education & performance program integrating classical and modern texts into English curriculums.

Marie E. Saint-Cyr

Marie E. Saint-Cyr

Marie received a BFA in Fine Arts and a minor in Art History from the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 2018, Marie participated in The Downtown Brooklyn Arts Management Fellowship, a collaboration between four prominent Brooklyn arts and culture organizations: where she learned about core areas of arts management, including Development, Marketing/Community Engagement, Education, Curatorial/Programming, Production/Tech, and Administration/Finance.

As a Haitian immigrant, Marie was deeply impacted by various art cultural organizations, through their free workshops and educational programs. These experiences not only enabled her to learn to express herself through art, but she also became very interested in the work it takes to make these programs happen. Saint-Cyr Art Studio was born out of Marie’s passion for Art, Education, Business and her desire to give back to her community. When Marie is not painting or facilitating art programs, she can be found backpacking through countries and trying out new food.

Paola Parola

Paola Parola

Art serves a special purpose in my life and always has. While those around me projected their voice through words, my thoughts very naturally flowed through my ability to create. Since 2014, I’ve used my art to share my voice with others through a variety of platforms, and have been featured in many art exhibitions. Through my experiences with art, I’ve discovered my passion for graphic design. For the past 2 years I’ve helped other individuals and small businesses share their messages through visual communication. Currently, I am a graphic design student at Lonestar College aiming to expand my knowledge in the industry and share my creativity with the world.

If you have any questions, please email our Organizing Director, Ramya Gopalakrishnan at rgopalakrishnan@genvote.org